Bill and Sue were trying to put together a newly purchased bed frame, but they had different ideas on how to get the work done. After many unsuccessful attempts, the couple gave up fixing the bed frame –frustrated and angry at each other. A battle has just begun, and apart from fighting about the unassembled furniture, the couple also ended up fighting about almost forgotten issues from long ago. What seemed to be a manageable task resulted to a fight that was blown way out of proportion that the couple avoided each other for days.

If you and your partner have been through similar situations before, have you stopped and pondered on what made your arguments worse? Many times anger can get the better us that we give it the power to transform the smallest fights into one that can potentially harm the stability of our marriage. If you feel that anger is getting in the way with your relationships, here are some ways on how you can deal with it:

1. Acknowledge your past and move forward. According to studies, anger is deeply rooted with childhood experiences. If you have many unresolved issues as a child, these can still hound you during adulthood. So when similar issues arise, you instinctively react in anger not because you are angry at your spouse, but mainly because the situation reminded you of past hurts. But if you stop the cycle, you will be able to handle perceived threats, or even fights reasonably. Accept what was not perfect in your life so that you can work on building the kind of relationship that you want.

2. Try to withhold your first response. When you are consumed by so much anger, your first reaction will most likely be irrational. You may even end up doing or saying something that you may later on regret. So during an argument, control your emotions so you can respond reasonably and responsibly. With a clear head, you can prevent arguments from escalating into full blown fights.

3. Set ground rules for expressing anger. Talk with your spouse on how you should both deal with angry feelings. Let him know about the things that you don’t appreciate when he’s angry, and determine what irritates him if the situation were reversed. It may even be wise to agree on a time out when things go out of hand.

4. Learn to express your anger constructively. Even with so much anger, you can still convey feelings of love and respect for each other. Don’t raise your voice or react in a hostile manner when you feel irritated or even provoked because these reactions will certainly not help settle the problem. So even if you are fuming mad, keep your cool and discuss matters calmly.

5. Master the art of forgiveness. Do not allow resentment and bitterness to destroy your marriage. If you forgive your partner for his past faults and accept that you are both imperfect beings, you have chosen to focus more on the positive things in life. With forgiveness, peace and joy will surely follow.

Learning how to deal with anger is a difficult process to master. But when you learn how to control your anger ridden impulses, you have the power to keep the harmony in your marriage. How do you effectively deal with anger?